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Beavs Battle to Victory in Relief Pitchers' Duel

Luke Heimlich earns the win after entering in the 6th inning and holding the Cougars scoreless until Trevor Morrison's RBI double earns Beavers a 2-1 walkoff win.

Travis Eckert started on the mound for the Beavers and pitched well, keeping control with pitches low in the zone that WSU was rolling over. After a two out walk they continued to pound balls in the infield but they were so weakly hit that Oregon State could not turn them into outs. That filled the bases with Cougars, but they were unable to bring home a run and the Beavers escaped the first unscathed.

The Cougars had a couple more opportunities to get runners in good positions but they were (literally) clumsy running the basepaths. Ian Sagdal was the first to fall as he turned around second on an attempted triple and it happened again in the 5th when 2B Sean Donlin tried to get from 1st to 3rd on a single where he went stumbling to the ground and was caught in a rundown.

Eckert held the Cougars with the aforementioned base running failures and some timely pitching. He always got out of jams although they were few. He was pitching in control and keeping everything low so Wazzu never had a pitch to swing at.

Oregon State was similarly stifled by WSU in the early going although they had no real starter and just ran six total relievers out of the bullpen. The first real opportunity came in the third when the Beavers got runners on 1st and 2nd with only 1 out and KJ Harrison up to bat. The freshman could not come through though and flew out to center but the threat did not end there. Gabe Clark earned a walk and Casey brought in Joe Gillette to pinch hit for Michael Howard. He was no more help though and went down swinging to allow the Cougars to escape.

KJ Harrison came through in the 5th though when he broke through with an RBI double after Trever Morrison got a bunt single. OSU kept the pressure on and got the bases loaded but again struck out to again let the Cougars off the hook.

Once the game got to the 6th inning Eckert started to show some wear. He started to get a bit wild nearly hitting the leadoff and then actually hitting him later in the at-bat. That was followed by a stand-up double by WSU DH Wes Leon to tie up the game at 1-1. Luke Heimlich entered for Eckert after that and hit the first batter, but shut down the Cougs after that.

From there the game turned into a bullpen battle as the Cougars started to reach deep into their depth chart for pitchers. There were a couple minor threats from the Beavers, but they were mostly held in check.

In the meantime Heimlich had started to hit his stride despite the occasional wild pitch. His low arm action seemed to allow his fastball to keep the Cougars off balance and off the scoresheet. In the 8th Ian Hamilton came in the game for WSU and proceeded to shut down the Beavers just like Heimlich was doing. This extended the game into extra innings as neither pitcher was yielding any hits.

This continued all the way until the 11th inning when Christian Donahue broke through with a single into center field. A bad pickoff throw allowed him to reach second and he moved to third when Jeff Hendrix fought a ball off of his hands to groundout. Trever Morrison stepped to the plate and delivered with a double off of the right field wall to bring home Donahue and win the game for the Beavers.

Heimlich came away with the win, his first of the season, and the Beavers come away with all three wins on the weekend. He ended with a line of 5.1 innings, 2 hits, 6 K, and 0 runs. Ian Hamilton took the loss for the Cougars and moved to 0-1 on the year.

This was not a great offensive weekend for OSU but they performed well on the mound, only giving up 3 runs on the whole weekend. Oregon State is now 18-5 overall and 4-2 in conference.

The Beavers will play a pair of midweek games against San Jose State before hosting Cal Poly next weekend.

Go Beavs!